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Upgrades begin at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

April 12, 2001

Upgrades begin at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - Officials at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park have started work on $1 million worth of improvements at the site, including a new walking trail from Cavalier Heights to the lower town area.

The trail, which will be about a mile and a half long, is designed to help visitors enjoy natural attractions along Shoreline Drive, such as wetlands.

In recent years, park rangers have included the wetlands in their talks about the park, and an exhibit about the wetlands was established there.

In 1980, a comprehensive plan suggested that a walking trail be established along Shenandoah Drive, Park Superintendent Donald Campbell said.

About a quarter of the trail has already been completed, with the rest to be finished this year, Campbell said Wednesday.

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Walking on the trail from Cavalier Heights, visitors will make their way from an elevated section overlooking the Shenandoah River down to a lower area featuring an old water canal where ducks, fish-eating birds, largemouth bass and beavers live.

"The trail really offers some beautiful panoramic views of the park and the Shenandoah River," Campbell said.

Construction of the trail is part of a project that also involves resurfacing many of the park's asphalt streets, Campbell said.

The stone surface on Potomac and Shenandoah streets, which is called a "macadam" design, will not have to be replaced, Campbell said.

Part of the project involves reconstruction of a wall on Hog Alley that has deteriorated. Also, a bus loop will be installed at Bolivar Heights so buses can turn easier, Campbell said.

Campbell said he believes the improvements, which will take about seven months to complete, can be accomplished without interfering with the busy summer tourist season.

Some parts of the project can be delayed until the fall if park officials believe it will make it easier on tourists, Campbell said.

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